Friday, September 19, 2014

Field Trip: Lion Brand Retail Store

Last weekend I took a trip to the Albany area. The trip included a stop at the Lion Brand Retail store in Colonie, NY. If you like Lion Brand or live in the area, this store is worth the trip. It's one of the only places to see nearly all of the yarns and colorways that Lion Brand has to offer including clearance and discontinued items, new yarns, and a few small batch products that are only carried in their retail and factory stores. Any knitter, crocheter, or general crafter can find something there.

When you enter the store, you definitely get the feeling of walking in to a small yarn shop, but slightly more brand oriented. The decor is very trendy yarn bombed furniture, samples, and of course just great displays of yarn.

The front 1/4 of the store was dedicated to Lion Brand Collection yarns. These are the premium wool, silk, cashmere, angora, and bamboo yarns which aren't usually stocked at your local craft store. they are all very nice, especially the specialty yarns like hand dyed silk ribbons and wool with stainless steel. The problem is that all of these yarns are available from luxury brands at lower prices.
I'd skip these, but it was nice to see what they look like in person.

In the background of that picture, you can see the large wall of Homespun and Hometown USA. The middle third of the store was filled with these types of yarns. There's a  better selectioin of colors than you can ever find at a craft store, as well as really nice sample projects showing the yarns in use.
The back of the store is all clearance yarns, some of which are not available in stores anymore. they are packaged in bulk bags of multiple skeins. The deals are very good.
There's also a few yarns that are better seen in these retail spaces. For example, you can get Fettucini, a yarn made of recycled cotton jersey, online but, because it is a recycled fiber, the colors are random and you cannot pick a specific hue. In the store, you can choose your colors. There are also some cone yarns available by the pound.
I may have look of yarn splurge guilt on my face, but these pound cones of soft wool were only $12.50 each. They'll go on the machine while I learn how to use the punch cards and practice sweater shaping. DO NOT BUY THESE. They're discontinued, and only available at retail locations. If you buy them, I won't be able to get them. I want all these cones!

Overall, you should go to this store. Lion brand is a great company, and even if you aren't into their low priced yarns, you should experience their full range of products. Yarn snobs will be converted, some of their synthetics are beautiful and are priced for fun little projects that won't bankrupt you.

So if you are in the Albany area, give it a visit at 1814 Central Avenue, Colonie, New York, 12205. 

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